Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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Thanksgiving, race day

I decided to run a 5K race because I knew that an Oakville friend, was considering running it.  She is a very busy person, who works full-time and has two boys age-6 and under (I hope I got the ages right!).  I was apprehensive because of the proximity of the race to my Saturday long run but eased my nervousness by approaching the race as a tempo run.  The weather that day was a dream.  While waiting for the start gun to go off, the memory of the exquisite feeling of having every muscle in your body prepared for top-performance was awakened.

Pre-race, time to warm up

However I felt happy enough having a lot of my muscles prepared for the race and look forward to my return to top form.  My dream goal for the day was to run under 23 minutes although, I knew this would be a challenge to do this while keeping in the tempo run zone of my heartrate.  The last 5K’s I ran were over 2 1/2 years ago.  I was running these consistently under 20 minutes.  A favourite flat and fast course used to be the  Subaru 5K in Jordan.

The gun went off and I eased into a steady tempo pace, checking my heartrate watch constantly to ensure I was in the 150-153 beats per minute zone.  I experienced quite a shock at the 1K mark to find that I was on pace to run OVER 25 minutes.  Each KM marker told the same story.  Finally, at the 4K mark I decided to run closer to 160-165.  I was pleased to see 23-something when I crossed the finish line.

It was obvious that the KM markings were wrong.  What a relief!  I think my husband was relieved that I was so happy to run 23 minutes.  He has seen his share of despondency over dissappointing race times.  Uncharacteristically, he has been urging me to train harder.  When I commented that this is unusual for him to be so hands-on in his support he commented, “I don’t want to have to bring you home in a wheelchair when you run your marathon!”  As dramatic as this sounds, the bottom line is, the less you train, the more you will hurt.  Ugh!

As for my friend, her time was thrown off by the mis-marked course as she had given up on her goal and cruised in, only to find out that she was a few seconds away from going under 21 minutes, which was her goal.

Good posture while running

I did a 10 minute cool-down, checked the results and was surprised to see that I was 1st in the 50+ category.  Let the comeback begin 🙂

Bad posture while getting medal

The best thing is that I was able to run semi-hard, so soon after my long run and that I felt okay this morning.  I ran a very easy 5K and then walked for an hour at lunch.  My total running for the week was 50 miles.  This week I must do close to 60 miles.  No time to waste a single day of training.

Happy camper

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Thanksgiving – The Dinner

For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing.
William Blake

Our family celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, Sunday with a small dinner. Normally, immediate-GTA-familygatherings are 12 adults and 11 kids but this weekend, my siblings were spending time with the other side of their family so we invited my parents to join us for a cozy 5 person dinner.

Grandma & Grandson

Our feast

My dad loves prime rib so that became the order of the day along with maple flavoured sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, sauteed brussell sprouts with red onions and a quinoa pilaf with pumpkin seeds and cranberries. For appetizers we had baked brie with maple syrup and pecans and a store-bought salmon and spinach mousse.

The finale was a belated birthday cake for my husband, a chocolate roll. After serving the cake my son took a bite and said to me. “”Mom, did you want to have a taste of your cake?”” Suddenly it dawned on me why the consistency of the batter had seemed different. I had forgotten the sugar. Everyone gamely, sprinkled sugar on the cake and remarked that it wasn’t too bad but . . .

Chocolate roll, a missing ingredient

Quinoa pilaf, prepared by Mr. Meat & Potatoes

Ready for cozy fivesome

In preparing for the meal, I violated one of my main rules of stress avoidance, which is “never shop on the same day that you entertain”, except for flowers and fresh bread.  And have enough done in advance that you can easily fit in a run”. Happily, in spite of cleaning, cooking and shopping on the day-of, preparations were relaxed.  As for the run, I have to confess that it was touch and go however I had put it on the optional list for the day because I had decided to race.  At 4:30 p.m. I ran 20 minutes, to stay loose but with the long run the previous day and a 5K on Thanksgiving Monday, backing off was in order.

The race was a fundraiser for Kerr Street Ministries whose mission includes feeding the hungry in Oakville.  Stay tuned for race details and photos later today or tomorrow.

Over the weekend our thoughts and prayers go to those who do not experience abundance, as we give thanks for our good fortune and seek ways to contribute to the greater good.

A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all!

O God, to those who have hunger give bread; and to those who have bread give the hunger for justice.

— Latin American prayer

May God bless you with the discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you will live deep in your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people and the earth so that you will work for justice, equity and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer so you will reach out your hands to comfort them and change their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so you will do the things which others say cannot be done.

–Franciscan prayer